President Buhari approves disbursement of $350m Cabotage Fund

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DEC. 11, 2022 – President Mohammadu Buhari has approved the disbursement of the $350 million Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund.

Muazu Sambo, the Minister of Transportation, announced the approval of the disbursement of the fund in Lagos on Saturday at the flag-off ceremony of the third phase of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP).

The Cabotage Vessel Financing fund (CVFF) established under the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act, 2003.

The fund is intervention fund created by the federal government todevelop the capacity of Nigerian shippers to enable them maintain their existing vessels or buy new ones.  

The fund is a two per cent contribution by indigenous ship owners from every contract executed in the nation’s waters

Disbursement of the fund is subject to the approval of the Minister of Transportation upon recommendation by NIMASA.

The minister said that plans were on to approach the minister of finance and budget planning and the Central Bank of Nigeria on the disbursement of the fund.

He said that the fund would be disbursed to five primary lending institutions.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved my request for the disbursement of the CVFF Fund. Finally, we are breaking the 17-year-old jinx.

“CVFF Fund which has hit over $350million is warehoused in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) of the Federal Government, it would be transferred to the approved primary lending institutions”.

The minister also said the collapse of the Nigerian National Shipping Line created a gap in the manpower development of the shipping industry, especially in the area of shipboard training and manning.

Dr Bashir Jamoh, the Director-General of NIMASA, said that the seafarers training programme was designed to train Nigerian youths up to degree level in Marine Engineering, Nautical Sciences and Naval Architecture in some of the best maritime training institutions abroad, and to position them to compete effectively in the global maritime industry.

“It was noted that the number of Nigerian seafarers on ocean going vessels as at then had depleted over the years and the urgent need to boost it adequately for effective implementation of the coastal and inland shipping policy of the Government informed the initiative,” he said. (GBN)

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